Sangeeta Kocharekar

The types you’ll meet in hostels – and which to avoid at all costs

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve stayed in a hostel. Maybe it was just once, or maybe it was a few times. Or maybe, you’re like me – a long-term traveller who’s stayed at too many to count.

Whichever it is, unless you were the only person in the whole place (in which case, you lucky thing, you!) you would’ve undoubtedly met a cast of characters. Some may have become lifelong friends, others just passing acquaintances. And others still may have prompted you to nearly throw their suitcase their window. These are a few of those.

two female travellers

1) The social media fanatic

They’re the types who feel the need to document everything. You guys just met that morning? “Let’s take a selfie!” they tell you at the hostel pool a couple hours later. They collect Facebook friends and Instagram followers, and dedicate their entire holiday to showing everyone they know back home what a fun time they’re having. Unless you like spending countless hours posing in photos, or co-starring in Snapchat videos, consider yourself warned.

2) The long, long-term traveller

Once upon a time, these long-term travel types all had dreaded hair and baggy Thai pants. Having either or both was a non-negotiable. Today, with the digital nomad culture on the rise, the six-month or more hostel goer now comes in all shapes and sizes – and some are surprisingly clean cut. While both types have plenty of tips to share, if you happen to come across the latter, cling onto him / her. They’re making money while still travelling the world. That’s the dream, right? Ask a lot of questions and listen to their answers closely. People pay big bucks for their words.

male hostel traveller

3) The unmotivated energy zapper

You’ll find these types at almost every hostel, usually working a few hours a week there in exchange for a free bed. They’ve got no motivation to do much else than their daily chores, and are known to snooze away entire days. Ask them what to do around town – because of course you would, they said they’ve been here five months – and they’ll stare at you blankly. Keep far away from them – you don’t want to be catching their ambition-free germs.

4) The cheapskate/moocher

You probably have someone like this in your friend group, but the cheapskate/moocher you meet while travelling is on another level. They want to travel for as long as possible, and in order to do that, won’t spend a penny more than they have to. Hanging out with them will more than likely mean you’ll be dipping in to your own funds to cover them – I mean, you’re not going to have a drink on your own, are you? But if you’re not put off by that, these types can actually teach you some tricks on how to save and how to make your money stretch the furthest.

male overlooking ocean view

5) The fresh-out-of-school hostel newbie

All fresh-faced, doe-eyed and filled with energy, this type is so naïve you just want to squeeze them. It’s all fun and games with them in the day however, but come nightfall, it’s a different story. In a bid to fit in and to ease any nervousness they might have about being the youngest, they’ll often over-drink. It won’t be pretty, and you won’t be able to escape it. The only thing that’ll help you get through it is the pleasant thought that you have finally grown out of that (if in fact you have, that is).

6) The overly ambitious tourist

They’ve been waiting months, sometimes years, for this trip, and they’ve planned it all to a tee. They know all the sights to see and can quote Lonely Planet’s tips word-by-word. They’re the first ones up in the morning and the last ones to crawl into bed – they want to experience it all, and don’t understand ‘going with the flow’ is part of that. While these types can get real annoying real quick, they are worth being around. They have a wealth of information and are more than willing to share it. Keep ‘em close, but not too close.

If you’ve never visited a hostel before, hopefully this hasn’t put you off them. They’re both the best and worst part about budget travelling, and the people you meet in them each has an interesting story to tell. No matter how annoying they are.

backpacker in hostel

Sangeeta Kocharekar is a freelance writer specialising in travel and life. When she’s not hunched over her laptop, she spends her days browsing plant stores and taking photos of beaches and brunches for Instagram. You can view them here.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.